PRAYER CIRCLE
2-16 Oct 2017
Food, basic needs and the Word of God for people who have lost everything in Sierra Leone.

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Bible House

27 Howard Street

Belfast

BT1 6NB

 

t: 028 9032 6577

 

www.bsni.co.uk


 

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 
they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
 
As we look around the world at the trouble and disaster that we see it can be easier to question God than trust him. Why are so many suffering, struggling, grieving and despairing? How should we even respond to the overwhelming information and images that we hear and see?
 
Perhaps the famous words of Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations will help us keep our eyes focused on God. Jeremiah was watching the downfall of his people when he declared God's goodness. We must also keep sight of who God is - unchanging, faithful, merciful and steadfast in love. We must also, like Jeremiah, continue to speak God's message to those around us.

Please join us in prayer for Sierra Leone, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the East Caribbean. May God's presence be so real and his loving comfort be powerful.
Bringing 'Faith and Hope' to Hurricane-devastated Communities 

Hurricane Irma 2017
Rubble and wreckage now lies where homes and business once stood.
Puerto Rico


 

Puerto Rico was still recovering from Hurricane Irma when Hurricane Maria hit on September 20. Bible Society of Puerto Rico General Secretary Heriberto Martinez-Rivera sent this update on Friday 22 September:

 

"Puerto Rico has been totally chopped up...100% of the island is without electricity. Only now are we able to get drinking water. Regrettably, government authorities have confirmed six deaths. Some parts of the island are totally without communication... In the village of Toa Baja, heavy rains have led to a dramatic increase in refugees in the last hours. To this was added a devastating storm surge in the town of Isabela (northwest), flattening all businesses near the beach area.

All those who have visited our island before and enjoyed our emblematic tourist areas...and coastal areas wouldn't recognise it now.  The reality is another Puerto Rico."

 

Mr Martinez-Rivera says he is grateful for all the messages of support he has received from Bible Societies. His team is making plans to provide Scriptures for distribution to people in shelters and affected communities, in partnership with churches across the island.  "Please pray for the Bible Society of Puerto Rico so that we can continue carrying the Word of God to all the people in this anguished hour of pain and uncertainty."

 

irma-damage_cuba-600x368.jpg 2017
There is destruction all around the already struggling country of Cuba.
Cuba


 

This week staff members of the Biblical Commission of Cuba (the Bible Society team) have been visiting some of the provinces worst hit by Hurricane Irma, which rampaged through the country causing destruction on a massive scale. By the time Irma had finished with Cuba, 10 people had died, more than one million had been evacuated and thousands had lost their homes and livelihoods. The infrastructure of this already struggling country is badly damaged and its economy, heavily reliant on tourism, has been dealt a severe blow. The true impact of the disaster will not be fully understood for some time.

 

"We are assessing the damage and delivering humanitarian aid and biblical materials," notes General Secretary Alain Montano. Together with representatives from the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC), the Biblical Commission is seeing first hand the needs on the ground in order to put together a plan to help.

 

Once again, churches have already played a key role in helping people affected by this latest natural disaster, evacuating and sheltering thousands and distributing drinking water. Although churches have been active in responding to previous disasters, their role this time was mentioned on national television for the first time ever.

 

Hurricane Irma 2017
Entire populations evacuated to other islands as everything is destroyed.
East Caribbean


 

Before Hurricane Irma blew into Cuba, it had already wreaked terrible damage in the East Caribbean, particularly on the islands of Barbuda, Tortola, St Tomas, St Croix and St John.

 

The Bible Society of the East Caribbean has been working with churches and other partners to understand the scale of the needs, which are staggering. The situation is so severe on some of the islands - including Barbuda, where 90% of the infrastructure has been destroyed - that residents are being evacuated to other islands or countries.

 

Bible Society General Secretary Owen Williams says that while there is an urgent need for humanitarian aid... communities are also in need of hope and a sense of resilience.

"The Word of God will play a key role in the rebuilding process that is starting now," he noted.

 

The distribution of Scriptures to affected communities is already under way as the Bible Society works with a network of partners, including the Coast Guard and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

 

"In the middle of tragedy significant opportunities are opening to serve the Caribbean nations, bringing them relief and sharing a message of hope with them," says Marco Martinez, the Global Mission Team Facilitator who works with the nations of the Caribbean.

 

Please pray for the Biblical Commission of Cuba and the Bible Society in the East Caribbean as they bring help and hope to traumatised hurricane survivors.
mudslides 2017
The Bible Society team preparing humanitarian aid and Bibles for distribution.
Sierra Leone is Suffering
Offering help, prayer and hope

The 14th August saw terrible mudslides in Sierra Leone which claimed as many as 1,000 lives and saw 7,000 people left with no home. The Bible Society in Sierra Leone has been assisting in whatever way they can and on Thursday 14th September they visited survivors who are now in a camp west of Freetown.  Not only did they distribute 150 Good News Bible but they also brought whatever humanitarian material they could, including rice, cooking oil, foam mattresses and school items.
 
The Bible Society team offered condolences to the affected and bereaved families and prayed for the survivors, encouraging them to continue to put their hope, trust and confidence in God.

The staff and volunteers who helped in the distribution were so moved by the response of the survivors. One lady said, "We are so grateful for what you people have done for us, you may not know what joy you've placed in our hearts especially thinking of our Children. You are the only organization that has brought School materials for our children which shows that you are considering the future of our kids". Her husband also said; "We were wondering how we would get our Bible back as we are Christians and today you've not only provided us with Bibles, but also food and non food items. May God bless the work you do."
 
There is so much disaster in the world today that we easily overlook situations like this one. Thousands of people are in desperate circumstances with unknown futures. Pray that God will move in this situation to bring hope and security for these desperate families and that the small help of organisations like the Bible Society will have a huge impact.
NEWS at HOME

12 Prayers starts tomorrow - Tues 3rd October! You can sign up now or jump in later, so don't worry if you miss the first week.

Each week we will ask you to pray for a different Bible Society, sharing some of their work with you, from things to celebrate to urgent prayer needs. 

This is a wonderful way to keep our hearts focused on the truth of Christmas - the coming of Jesus Christ and the spread of His Kingdom to all people.



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Bible Sunday 2017 - ACTIVE

Bible Sunday resources are available for FREE DOWNLOAD here. 

Sun  29th October (Church of Ireland) or 
Sun  10th December (Presbyterian/Methodist)

Speaking Engagements

Mon 2 Oct, 8pm  - Leah is at Cookstown Presbyterian Women's group.
Thur 5 Oct, 8pm  - Catherine is at Ballinamallard Church of Ireland Mother's Union.
Mon 9 Oct, 7.30pm - Leah is at Drumachose Presbyterian Women's group.
Wed 11 Oct, 10.30am - Campbell is at 'Men United' in West Church Presbyterian, Ballymena.

If you have any questions, give us a ring on 
028 9032 6577 or email i nfo @bsni.co.uk